And so we're not there yet," he said. Today's vests aren't much different than the ones introduced to the sport almost 20 years ago, said Cody Lambert, a retired bull rider and the Professional Bull Riders' livestock director. He should know. Lambert designed the first vest introduced into professional bull riding, a few years after his friend, legendary bull rider Lane Frost, was killed in when a bull's horn struck him in the side.
Lambert got the vest idea from those worn by his younger brother, a jockey who rode race horses. He modified a jockey vest to be worn on the outside of riders' clothing, be easily removed, be flexible and to have a Western look. He came out with the first prototype in The vests protected riders from puncture wounds, but he said that wasn't their main purpose.
As a prominent athletic therapist and a fan of rodeo for more than 25 years, Butterwick said his phone would often ring whenever a death or serious injury in rodeo made headlines around Calgary. People asked questions about whether such incidents were common and what role protective gear might have had on the outcome.
Data on rodeo injuries were scattered and incomplete, so Butterwick set out to create a comprehensive rodeo injuries database. After four years, Butterwick had enough material to issue a report with his initial findings. The study showed that from to , there were 49 catastrophic injuries, of which 21 were fatal. Of those deaths, 11 were bull riders, seven were junior bull or steer riders, two were female barrel racers and one was a saddle bronc rider. The ages of those injured or killed ranged from 9 to 49; about one-third were under Nearly 78 percent of all catastrophic injuries occurred during bull- or steer-riding events.
Butterwick's study drew the interest of colleague Darren Stefanyshyn, a professor of physical engineering at the University of Calgary who analyzes motion in sports and tests the force of impact on sports equipment. Stefanyshyn said a bull can come down with a force that exceeds five tons. Butterwick contends that the 16 chest-related fatalities in his research likely could have been prevented with a better vest.
He knows some people disagree with his conclusions because they know of cases in which a vest saved someone from serious injury. Corinne Derickson believed that her year-old son, Makwala Derickson-Hall, was well-protected when he got on a bull. But on July 9, , Derickson-Hall was less than two weeks away from competing in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Wyoming when he was killed by a bull's hoof that came down on his chest during a ride at a rodeo in Valemount, British Columbia.
The bull had bucked the young man off and stomped on his chest just under his arm. Derickson-Hall jumped up and ran to the chute. He had a seizure and fell off," Derickson's cousin Chad Eneas said. Paramedics weren't able to revive him.
Sometimes I am living with the fact that some things just don't make sense," Derickson's mother said. Tandy Freeman attends to injured rodeo athletes at about events a year as the medical director for the Professional Bull Riders and the Justin Sportsmedicine Team, which serves the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The Dallas orthopedic surgeon said he feels that the number of chest injuries has gone down as vests have become more popular. Many major U. And they were commonly used during most of Butterwick's study period, Dr. Freeman said, so it's hard to know whether there would have been more injuries and deaths if riders had not been wearing vests. The vest Becky Jackson ordered online for her son Peyton back in had about a half-inch of foam padding and a quarter-inch of bendable plastic covered by leather.
And it's just the nature of the sport," she said. At first she thought her year-old son would quickly tire of bull riding and move on to something else, but she soon realized he had a passion for the sport. The first time she saw him compete -- Jan. His father, Tom Jackson, pulled the rope to open the chute.
Peyton got up, took two steps, then fell. Paramedics told the Jacksons their son had no pulse. He died of blunt force trauma; his vest slashed through on the upper left side where one of the hooves had struck him. David Pearson believes he has a vest that provides enough protection. It uses a honeycomb-like silicon material called Deflexion, invented by Dow Corning. If you're injured and you're a professional bull rider, you're not making any money.
Pearson commissioned third-party impact studies that he says show the Rodeo Tech vests disperse energy up to 40 percent better than other vests on the market. In designing the Rodeo Tech vest, Pearson faced the same problem Lambert did 20 years ago: how to make the vest flexible and comfortable enough so bull riders can still twist, bend and turn while wearing it.
Pearson is quick to point out that even the Rodeo Tech vest will not prevent a bull rider from being killed if he suffers a direct blow. I can't even tell him he's not going to be injured. All's I can tell you is that the impact material does a better job than what's available today, that's all I can tell him," he said. But right now, I feel this is the best thing I can offer them, and we're always looking for something that's going to be an advancement.
There are materials currently available that wouldn't collapse under pressure, but they're too limiting for a bull rider. You could wrap them in some type of metal. There's no question you could prevent [compression]," Stefanyshyn said. But he and others are confident that further impact studies, video analysis of injuries and testing, and modification of materials such as carbon fibers and titanium will yield a better vest. Professional bull rider Kanin Asay upgraded to a Rodeo Tech vest and started wearing a helmet after a bull stomped on his chest during a Fourth of July weekend ride in in St.
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Pre-owned 59 Items Please provide a valid price range. Reins are made in America Cordura Neck Roll Pro rodeo protective neck roll made of durable black Cordura. Great for any Bronc or Bareback rider. Don't Ride Unprotected. Bronc Riding Reins Three different styles to choose from.
Hand-braided using the best available sisal and poly fibers. Poly rein is the most popu No holes. Handle Pad Pro rodeo handle pad is leather covered rubber pad and can be glued or taped to rigging for handle protection. Leather Handle Protecti Heavy 1" Felt Rough-out Leather Skirt Pickup Man Shinguards Shinguards made of 10 to 12 oz.
Poly rein is the Pro Cinch Junior rough stock cinch 29 strand double woven cinch with heavy 3" steel welded dees.